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Thread: Cantilever Brake Pads

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    Default Cantilever Brake Pads

    Anyone have recommendations for cantilever brake pads. I have a 1971 Schwinn Paramount tandem that Iíve had for a bit and Iím now working on to fit me right. Iíve never had a bike with cantilever brakes and given the additional rider weight and additional responsibility for the safety of the stoker, Iíd like to make sure the brakes arenít a problem.


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    CANTILEVER PADS? What is this, the 70s?

    I usually just get salmon flavored Kool Stops for my V-brake and canti brakes. Remember that there are threaded and straight post styles, so make sure to get the appropriate one. I prefer the thin-line ones because they have more clearance (height-wise) on the rim: https://www.jensonusa.com/Brake-Pads?brand=Kool-Stop

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Anyone have recommendations for cantilever brake pads. I have a 1971 Schwinn Paramount tandem that I’ve had for a bit and I’m now working on to fit me right. I’ve never had a bike with cantilever brakes and given the additional rider weight and additional responsibility for the safety of the stoker, I’d like to make sure the brakes aren’t a problem.


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    Get nice long pads. I liked Kool Stop when I had these kinds of brakes. If you are willing to replace the rear wheel, you might also consider adding a rear drum brake for the stoker to grab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    you might also consider adding a rear drum brake for the stoker to grab.
    Aw, don't take the fun out of it. Screaming while grabbing empty bars is part of the thrill of being the stoker!

    Here's some good info on tandem brakes.

    If you ride long descents, heat from friction becomes the real danger (rims heat up and the tire explodes). Around here that shouldn't be a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    CANTILEVER PADS? What is this, the 70s?

    I usually just get salmon flavored Kool Stops for my V-brake and canti brakes. Remember that there are threaded and straight post styles, so make sure to get the appropriate one. I prefer the thin-line ones because they have more clearance (height-wise) on the rim: https://www.jensonusa.com/Brake-Pads?brand=Kool-Stop
    +1 on salmon Kool Stops. For years I have bought only these for all my rim brake setups, including not just my commuter's cantis but also the V brakes on the longtail that keep me and my passengers safe when barrelling down the few hills we ride. They work great,** are generally quiet, and seem not too harsh on the rims.***

    ** significantly less great when coated in ice, thank you, BAFS.

    *** The kids suffer with whatever pads their bikes ship with, as they don't put in that many miles. But for my personal bikes I replace the rim brake pads immediately, and toss the factory pads in my gear box or give 'em to the co-op. (In addition to V and canti, you can get inserts for road brake calipers.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    If you ride long descents, heat from friction becomes the real danger (rims heat up and the tire explodes). Around here that shouldn't be a problem.
    If it's a 1971 Schwinn Paramount, surely it has an Arai drag brake controlled by a friction shift lever, no?

    If not, you could contact the nice folks at Tandems East...

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    I also love kool stop salmons on my early aughts Bianchi Volpe with cantilever brakes. As many mentioned, they are pretty long so need a bit of patience tuning in, but great performance especially in the wet.

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    Thanks everyone! I ordered some Salmons today. I started working on the bike today and found out that the current pads actually are well worn and hardened Kool Stops.


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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    CANTILEVER PADS? What is this, the 70s?

    I usually just get salmon flavored Kool Stops for my V-brake and canti brakes. Remember that there are threaded and straight post styles, so make sure to get the appropriate one. I prefer the thin-line ones because they have more clearance (height-wise) on the rim: https://www.jensonusa.com/Brake-Pads?brand=Kool-Stop
    A word on that salmon colored compound- My first experience with them was many moons ago, Scott-Mathouser pads on my old Sears cruiser. The *only* pads that were worth a damn on the OE steel rims (which were not designed with caliper brakes in mind), *especially* in the wet. Ever since, Kool Stop (who inherited that compound) has been my pad of choice for the Trek.

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